Atlanta Nursing Home Elopement Lawsuits
NOTE: Our law firm does not handle these cases. This article is for informational purposes only. Information found in the article does not constitute as formal legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Learning that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect can be devastating. Your first priority should be the safety of your loved one. You should also consider taking legal action against the nursing home and other at-fault parties — to get your loved one justice and prevent the abuse from happening to others.
What Should Nursing Homes Do to Address Concerns of Wandering and Elopement?
Nursing homes can be held responsible for wandering and elopement under the Nursing Home Reform Act.
Things that a nursing home can o to reduce the risk of injury or harm from elopement and wandering include:
- Develop comprehensive care plans for each patient based on that patient’s needs and health conditions
- Have safeguards in place to prevent patients from exiting the facility, including alarms on all side doors
- Monitor the front doors to ensure patients do not leave the facility
- Use night lights and have a circular floor plan
- Install keypads that protect against unwanted exit and change passcodes regularly
- Conduct headcounts and checks throughout the day
- Train staff members about how to reduce wandering
- Use ID bracelets and other forms of identification for patients who do wander
One of the most common reasons that patients wander or leave the premises is understaffing. There may not be enough staff members at a facility to check on patients throughout the day and night. Therefore, unattended patients may wander and try to leave the nursing home.
Dangers of Nursing Home Elopement and Wandering
When a nursing home patient is left alone to wander the facility, they could fall. If they leave the facility, numerous hazards could put them at risk of injury or death.
Potential consequences of wandering and elopement at a nursing home include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Lack of medication
- Exposure to extreme weather conditions
Elopement is preventable. If a patient is wandering and/or trying to leave the facility, the nursing home should discuss the situation with the resident’s family members and physicians.
Can I Sue the Nursing Home for Injuries Caused by Wandering and Elopement in Georgia?
If the nursing home or staff members were negligent or committed intentional wrongdoing that harmed a patient, they could be liable for damages. First, however, you must prove that the nursing home was negligent, which may require an extensive investigation.
An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can investigate the matter and advise you of your legal options for holding the facility liable for damages.